What you need to know
- Apple's new M1-powered MacBook Air has some new function keys.
- Keys for Spotlight, Dictation, and Do Not Disturb are included.
- Launchpad and keyboard brightness keys have made way.
Apple announced the first MacBook Air to be powered by Apple silicon today and it's already shaping up to be a great little notebook. We're also starting to learn more about it as we all do a little digging and there's an interesting tidbit in relation to its keyboard – it has some new keys.
Well, kind of. As spotted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the new M1-powered MacBook Air has done away with the Launchpad and keyboard brightness keys and replaced them with keys for Spotlight, Dictation, and Do Not Disturb. Despite there already being a perfectly good keyboard shortcut for Spotlight at the very least.
The new MacBook Air has updated keyboard function keys, adding Spotlight, Dictation, and Do Not Disturb - replaces Launchpad and Keyboard brightness. pic.twitter.com/1BM6wTWQZhThe new MacBook Air has updated keyboard function keys, adding Spotlight, Dictation, and Do Not Disturb - replaces Launchpad and Keyboard brightness. pic.twitter.com/1BM6wTWQZh— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) November 10, 2020November 10, 2020
The loss of the Launchpad key is something a full 100% of people will never even notice – I defy anyone to prove to me that they use Launchpad – but the removal of keyboard brightness keys might impact a few people here and there. Still, I assume Apple has some usage numbers to back this kind of thing up.
I'd love to know what those numbers are, though. As for the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, that thing has the infamous Touch Bar in lieu of buttons anyway.
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
Thank you for signing up to iMore. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.